Friday, March 10, 2017

Our kite

Photo credit to online owner
The Philippines is like a kite snagged on a tree, unable to soar beyond its third-world sky, because of a few ambitious and virulent politicians. The anti Leni fake news on Facebook (and I'm guessing there's more on Twitter and Viber) have started proliferating; one of the culprits is "Thinking Minds" -- obviously a Marcos spawn which is pushing the lie that the vice president's late husband had a mistress and a child or more outside their marriage. A more malicious (but moronic) group has gone to the extent of claiming that Jesse Robredo had no less than 12 mistresses. If that's true I'm beginning to admire the man's prowess and ability to juggle his time to accommodate the lovely tootsies. But more likely the extra dozen is a dumb overkill of an overzealous Marcos-Duterte loyalist.

The appearance of the trolls' claims, however, should disturb the citizens: the program is groundwork for Leni's ouster. That means some of the SC justices -- enough of them to put a Marcos back in the executive branch -- have already safely hidden their huge bribes in bank accounts abroad and are ready to make public their decision, after a zarzuela hearing to make it credible for the misguided citizens.
I thought that last year, when Duterte was spiking rumors about his bad health, the SC would take Leni down, but some big events -- like the murder of Mayor Espinosa in prison and the Matobato Senate hearing-- made it dangerous for short-tempered Pinoys to accept one more national anomaly. (The politicians still remember that Dancing Queen Tessie Aquino Oreta's taunting the crowd over the unopened envelope quickly led to EDSA 2 and the ouster of President Estrada in 2001. Oreta, Tito Sotto, Miriam Defensor and other Estrada supporters were not reelected in the next election.)

In the last election campaign my admiration for Duterte was at its peak, because he showed that Poe is comparatively weak (Roxas and Binay are corrupt in different ways, although Roxas does not realize that simple fact), Defensor was a front and vote-getter for Bongbong, who, with his family, had really hoped and financed Duterte to win. Down to earth, blabbing honesty out to reporters (about throwing drug lords or notorious criminals out of a helicopter, about his aim to decimate the drug dealers, etc.), Duterte made me think, "This is the man who will and can do the reforms." I applauded when he warned the telcos to speed up our wifis and bring down the cost to the levels of our Asian neighbors or he would bring in foreign players. I also cheered when he noted that electricity in this country is the most expensive in the region, and expected him to throw MVPangilinan behind bars. He would solve the traffic problem, although the solution needs time, the smuggling at Customs should stop blah bleh blah.

But Duterte, it turned out, could also keep his mouth shut on crucial matters -- at least until he won the presidency convincingly. Then he revealed that the Marcoses had been rooting for him all along, that Imee Marcos even contributed to his campaign fund. Also, he loved the Marcoses so much that the country came second: he did not give Leni a Cabinet post because, Duterte said on live TV, he did not want to hurt the feelings of Bongbong. After some pressure (and, certainly, permission from Bongbong and family) he appointed Leni to take charge of housing the indigents; she did well, but she spoke out against the Dictator Marcos' sudden burial and was rudely kicked out. The Supreme Court, or the enriched members, had decided to grant the Marcoses' and Dutertes' wish. Duterte has been hinting he will not finish his term. I think he's just waiting for the ascension of Bongbong so he can step down, due to ill health -- mentally, I guess.

Media people realized that the SC decision to allow Marcos' burial was anomalous because the SC decision was already known two days before the justices sat down en banc and "voted." We were not surprised that on the morning of the decision Imee, down from Ilocos Norte, was at Padre Faura with paid supporters carrying placards and banners of support. The supporters said they had gathered spontaneously when they heard the news. I assume that many of them were capable, almost instantly, of making well-designed banners and placards with neat slogans neatly lettered as if by professionals.

The same members of the SC who always voted according to the sway of their bank accounts are expected to decide to oust Leni. Or they have already decided, and are waiting for the right time to meet en banc (should be "in bank", really), dragging along to opposing members to make the sideshow credible. If I'm wrong, I'll be the first to jump with joy that there's hope for this ill-starred nation of servants with diplomas. This Supreme Court, with a bit of variation, is the court that changed its decision, after ten years of having been carried out, that Hubert Webb and his cohorts, all serving time for homicide then, did not really rape and kill Lauro Vizconde's wife Estrellita (13 stab wounds), 18-year-old daughter Carmela (13 stab wounds), and six-year-old Jennifer (19 stab wounds). News leaked out that the reversal occurred after Estelito Mendoza wrote a letter to some SC justices. Estelito, still alive, served as Ferdinand Marcos' Solicitor General during Martial Law. It is said that Estelito remains potent due to his enduring contacts with judges in the Appeals Courts and the SC. Did he fix the Marcos burial? Is he fixing Leni's ouster?

I have been thinking, Why are the Duterte supporters such rabid fanatics, even after the malignant revelations about him? I can understand the paid online trolls, even the bribe-loving judges, but I'm confused by regular citizens that are deliberately averting their sights on the killings of young boys and girls in Duterte's war on drugs. Religious Filipinos disavowing the sixth commandment for an insane president, who calmly declared that the innocents were collateral damages? Life is so bad for some that they are hoping for a reshuffle of the bad cards fate had allotted them, and the rest can go to hell. That's the miseducated Filipino, heavy with the crab mentality that drags the country down when it moves up towards progress. It's fitting that the antonym of progress in this country is congress.

I have planned to be quiet about politics this year, but events prod me. In this Year of the Hen, I will keep in mind what I have learned about the victims of violent crimes when I was astill a newsman: the young chicks placed on top of the casket of a murder victim are expected to peck at the grains of rice there, each peck supposed to pinch the perpetrators' conscience, if any at all.

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